You’ve seen research institutions spin off commercial companies; now the reverse is beginning to happen. Stratagene Cloning Systems, a four-year-old, 35-scientist biotechnology firm based in La Jolla, Calif., is one of the most recent entrepreneurial firms to set up its own nonprofit institute, the California Institute of Biological Research. Such an institute has certain advantages over companies when attracting scientists: It has none of the for-profit taint” to which some researchers object, NIH grant money is easier to obtain, and new hires can keep the research teams they’ve assembled with their grant money intact. And to sweeten the pot, Stratagene intends to supplement CIBR scientists’ salaries by an additional 15% or so of the grants they bring in, says Steven Kalus, CIBR president. In return, Stratagene gets first refusal of any technology developed. By September 1989, the CIBR hopes to have 50 researchers working on everything from mammalian development to...

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